How will Silk change everything?
Take heed, everyone is up in arms about the privacy implications of Silk. But the performance improvements and potential protection from Malware will probably win out in the end. Let’s consider the implications.
At first, images will most likely be cached, but as time goes on, by determining which content is dynamic and which content is static, most static content will be aggregated. Cookies may move from the browser to the server. And eventually the browser will die and just become a terminal. The request/response that builds a Document Object Model (DOM) for the page would soon morph because it is now about server to server communications. Most likely it will mean most pages start out static and use a server-to-server AJAX type request to update the requested page.
And, what is to stop the other data centers from doing the same? If this model takes off, soon all requests will be built around a terminal system and everything transfers from server to server. People will stop asking, “Which browser do you use?” and instead ask, “Which Aggregation Center do you use?”.
At this point, it means that the aggregators like Amazon will be at the center of determining which data comes in and which data goes out. 3rd party data collectors are then dependent on these aggregators. If you are collecting web data at your own data servers, you do have access to the dynamic content sent out and hopefully some kind of request for change to static content every time the user requests the static content. Worst case scenario, Amazon and aggregators close the world to the data collection from their system due to an increased desire for privacy. Then we all move back to the data center for our data collection needs. They have every right to ensure their consumers with the statement “we are protecting your privacy, companies are still able to optimize based on data requested directly from their data centers”. It would actually be a good move for them if privacy was a real concern. Many spammers and hackers do use beacons to mark users/computers for nefarious purposes.
Anyway, I’m actually looking forward to a quicker browsing experience, with the potential of protection from hackers and maybe even an increase in privacy (depending on how Amazon wants to approach it). Go ahead Amazon, you’ll get the web tracking companies angry, but remember, they can still collect directly from the data center.
What do you think? Do you think Amazon would restrict data collection for beacon-based data-collection companies and would there be an exodus to the data center? Or do you think a company like Amazon would keep it open in the name of web optimization?